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Festival Information 2019, 42nd Annual

SATURDAY - AUGUST 10th, 2019 - 2:00pm at the SCRIBNER STATUE, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA - Jam

SATURDAY - AUGUST 10th, 2019 - 6:30pm at ROARING CAMP in Felton, CA - Potluck & Jam

SUNDAY - AUGUST 11th, 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm at ROARING CAMP in Felton, CA - Festival/Contest www.roaringcamp.com

CONTEST:   SUNDAY - AUGUST 11th, 11:00am

WORKSHOP:   SUNDAY - AUGUST 11th, 4:00pm to 4:30pm


The Saw Festival is free and takes place at Roaring Camp in Felton, California. The first festival was in 1978, this year will be the 42nd.

We have had participants in this festival from all over the United States, and from Canada, China, Japan, Czechoslovakia, England, France, New Zealand, and Australia.

There will be a gathering of sawplayers at 3pm on Saturday near Tom Scribner's statue at the Pacific Mall, near 1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz.

On Saturday evening until 10pm there will be a jam in the Roaring Camp Parking lot (free overnight parking for self-contained RV's)

ROARING CAMP is located between San Jose and Santa Cruz just off Hwy 17 at 1 Graham Hill Road in Felton.

The main stage will have continuous music from 10am until 5:00pm including the saw contest and other entertainment featuring individual sawplayers as well as bands which include musical saws, guitars, mandolins, fiddles, accordion, bass etc. You'll hear a wide range of music: Old-timey, Bluegrass, Classical, Blues, Folk...

The MUSICAL SAW CONTEST (The "Saw Off") will start at 11:00am.

To assure your space in the contest please mail the following form by July 30, 2019. Also, please register at the festival by 11am. The entry fee for the contest is $5 and there is a $5 annual fee to become a member.

membership/contest form

CONTEST RULES: Each contestant is to play two songs. You may play one piece with accompaniment of any kind, and then you are asked to play "Auld Lang Syne" twice through without accompaniment. "Auld Lang Syne" is known all over the world, but in some places it is called "Friendship Forever."

You should be able to hear "Auld Lang Syne" by clicking on the following link and then clicking melody (this version plays it three times in the key of F and once in G):

Auld Lang Syne in F & G

Or you can try this link (this one has an introduction and then plays it twice in the key of G)):

Auld Lang Syne in G

ROARING CAMP is a large facility with an old-fashioned train you can ride through the redwoods; a great place for the whole family.

We always have spontaneous jamming taking place under the trees around the festival; you'll enjoy lots of different musical styles including old-time, bluegrass, Irish and general folk.



Lodging Information for the Saw Festival

If you are coming to this year’s Saw Festival from outside the San Francisco Bay Area, you should know that finding a room in hotels/motels in Santa Cruz is VERY difficult on Summer weekends, as it is a popular tourist destination. Also, in the Summer the prices are higher, but you might find less expensive lodging in Scotts Valley, which is only about 5 or 6 miles from Felton (the Festival is at Roaring Camp, which is in Felton). There are also a few small Bed and Breakfasts, lodges, resorts etc. in and around Felton. You can go to Roaring Camp's "Lodging" page for some specific names, addresses and phone numbers: www.roaringcamp.com

If you decide to get a room or campground, I’d suggest making your reservations ASAP, because if you wait until closer to the Festival it may already be too late (you’ll have to go farther away from the Festival).

Here are a few to get you started:

Fern River Resort 5250 Highway 9, Felton, CA 95018 Phone: 831-335-4412

Best Western Inn - Scotts Valley 6020 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Phone: 831-438-6666

Hilton San Jose South/Scotts Valley 6001 La Madrona Drive, Scotts Valley, CA 95066 Phone: 831-440-1000

If you have a camper, trailer, RV or just a car you can sleep in, you can join us for a friendly overnight potluck/jam which starts at about 6:30 PM on Saturday August 10th in the outer parking lot at Roaring Camp - for FREE. We rent a fresh "Porta-Potty" for our use there, but it's really just a dirt parking lot - there is no running water, electricity (except perhaps in one of the RV's that come), and no grass or comfortable area to pitch a tent, but some people sleep on the ground or in their car.

There is a nice park with camping perhaps 2 or 3 miles from Roaring Camp, South East of Felton along Graham Hill Rd. It's called Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park at 101 North Big Trees Park Rd., Felton, CA - (831) 438-2396 - Campground Reservations (800) 444-7275 - www.parks.ca.gov

The park features 15 miles of hiking and riding trails through a forest that looks much the same as it did 200 years ago. The park is the home of the Redwood grove, with a self-guided nature path, and Douglas fir, madrone, oak and the most unusual feature of the park, a stand of Ponderosa pine

Not TOO far away (10 or 15 miles?) is Big Basin Redwoods State Park, with Campgrounds & tent cabins - Open Year Round 21600 Big Basin Hwy, Boulder Creek (800) 874-8368 - (831) 338-8860 - www.parks.ca.gov - The park has miles of trails that link Big Basin to Castle Rock State Park and the eastern reaches of the Santa Cruz range. Both hikers and equestrians utilize the trails.


2019 Press Release:


For great music that's a cut above the rest, come to the 42nd annual International Musical Saw Festival, Saturday and Sunday, August 10th and 11th, 2019, in beautiful Santa Cruz, California.

The cutting edge music starts Saturday, August 10th at 2:00 PM, with a free acoustic jam near the world's only life-sized bronze statue of a saw player - in front of Bookstore Santa Cruz, located at 1520 Pacific Avenue. Next comes a free potluck dinner and jam at 6:30 PM in the outer parking lot of Roaring Camp in Felton, just seven miles north of Santa Cruz.

The big event happens Sunday, August 11th, at Roaring Camp when the world's greatest saw players come out of the woodwork to join other acoustic musicians in a variety of musical performances. You'll hear bluegrass, country, folk, gospel, blues, classical, and even show tunes (believe it or not, no heavy metal) throughout the day. Festivities start at 10:00 AM, with spontaneous acoustic jams throughout the day. There's a Saw-Off competition from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, and a Chorus of the Saws at 3:45 PM., with up to 50 saw players trying to play in unison.

And for those who want to learn how to play music that really has some teeth in it, there's a free Musical Saw Workshop at 4:00 PM.

The entire event is free, and fun for the whole family. For more information, check out www.sawplayers.org, or www.roaringcamp.com. Held by the International Musical Saw Association. Come to the 39th annual Musical Saw Festival, and say you saw it here first!


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